Scrivener files to copy over when migrating from WIN to Mac?

Hi all :slight_smile:

Having bought a Mac (and gone through the ‘why didn’t I do this years ago?’ thing!), I’m now looking to move my work from my Windows laptop to my Mac. I need to be clear here about my ask: I’m NOT asking how do I change Scrivener software (*I’ve already decided to keep fully licensed versions of both WIN and Mac, and have bought and installed a Mac version of Scrivener). What I need to know is:

  • what files do I need to copy from my laptop to my Mac so that my semi-written novel will be on my Mac?

Thanks in anticipation!

This is me - I wouldn’t copy anything. I’d stick a USB on the laptop and do a Save As and save your work to the USB. Then I’d stick the USB on the Mac, open it, make sure it looks as it should, and do another Save As, this time to put the work on the hard drive of the Mac.

If you are determined to do a copy, you don’t copy “files,” you copy the folder that has your project, which copies everything in it.

In either direction, the safest alternative of all is to use Scrivener’s Backup To command and create a ZIP backup. That file can then be transferred by USB key, email, or any other convenient method without worrying that important bits will be lost in transit.

As Tribalrose said, you need everything in the .scriv folder, including all of the contents of all of the sub-folders.

You should also read this article, on important differences between the two platforms: … patibility

And this one, in case you find yourself tempted to use Dropbox or a similar service to move back and forth more easily: … c-services


Thank you everyone! You are life-savers :slight_smile: I’ll give the backup a go and see what happens …

(*getting this done removes my block to getting my novel done: getting a bit embarrassing now when everyone who has seen bits of it keeps saying “When can I buy this?!!”. Procrastination! :wink: )

Just wanted to say yet another thank you as I’ve now successfully restored my novel to my Mac - back in business (or ‘no more excuses’).

For anyone reading this I took the Backup option mentioned above, and did the following:

  1. Use a USB stick or drive and make a new folder in which to store the Zip file
  2. In Scrivener, go to FILE, BACKUP, BACK UP TO and use Browse to find the Folder you have just created.
  3. Tick ‘Backup as a Zip file’ and click OK. A backup will be made in zipped format to the folder you created.
  4. Move your USB stick or drive to your Mac.
  5. Open Scrivener, but select ‘Open file from’ and select the folder you created and the Zip file. Scrivener should unzip the file and open it. Your novel should be there with all data and attachments you had previously.
  6. Select FILE, BACKUP, BACK UP TO and set up your new auto-backup protocols to ensure your work is also backed up on your Mac (*it’s also worth running a manual backup at this point as Tribal Rose suggests above, just to ensure you do have a backup copy on your Mac - do remember to check that the auto-backup is working by checking the Folder).
  7. Use the Scrivener link above, and the Literature and Latte site to get any help/assistance you need for using Scrivener for Mac.

Thank you so much Katherine and Tribal Rose for the advice/help - back up and running, so back to it now! :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t duplicate anything. I’d stick a USB on the workstation and complete a Save As and spare your work to the USB. At that point, I’d stick the USB on the Mac, open it, ensure it looks as it should, and do another Save As, this opportunity to put the work on the hard drive of the Mac.

One correction that will save people some headaches… this menu is for ad-hoc backups, not automatic ones. The main place in Scrivener 3 for Mac to set up automatic backups is Scrivener->Preferences->Backup.

You can also change the backup location for each project individually from the Project->Project Settings->Backup menu. I like to create sub-folders in my main backups folder for projects, so that the main folder doesn’t get too messy; I DO NOT recommend scattering your backups all over the place, each project in their own folder, just because that makes it harder to track them down when you’re already in a stressful situation.

The main problem I’m having on a collaborative project is that we can’t have the Scrivener project file open at the same time, as Dropbox isn’t designed for simultaneous syncing. If anyone knows of any kind of cloud storage that has this capability, let me know. I have no idea how Scrivener behaves when a shared Dropbox (or other cloud based) file is open in two different places.

Scrivener is designed to warn you NOT to edit a project simultaneously from two computers. One at a time and each collaborator closes the project when they are done, is the way to do it. Scrivener is ’t designed for simultaneous collaborative editing.

I was in exactly the same boat, including the “why didn’t I do this years ago?” thing.

What I did is migrate all my files from my Windows computer to my iMac during the setup process. I installed Scriv and was able to open the old projects on my new computer.